EDEN HAZARD pulls no punches when asked to reflect on his performances this season.
The Belgian star offers a frank and honest assessment, admitting he hasn’t reached the high standards that he sets for himself.
It has not been a good season at Stamford Bridge, with Chelsea putting up a meek defence of their Premier League title, and looking likely to miss out on a Champions League spot for next season.
Manchester City have already wrapped up the title with five games to spare, and are a whopping 24 points ahead of last year’s winners in fifth.
Chelsea are also five points behind Tottenham with only four matches left and are resigning themselves to dropping into the Europa League next term.
They lost a two-legged Carabao Cup semi-final to Arsenal and suffered a 4-1 aggregate defeat to Barcelona in the last-16 of the Champions League.
Amid all this, manager Antonio Conte has cut a miserable figure, constantly moaning about Chelsea’s efforts in the transfer market.
Hazard remains the Blues’ top scorer this season, with 16 goals. But for a world-class player, he expects much, much better. So his own form, and that of his team, has left him deeply frustrated.
“It has not been so good,” he declares.
“Yes, I have scored some goals, but that’s why I am on the pitch.
“The thing I want most is for my team to win. That is it.
“When we are not winning I cannot be happy. We are fifth in the Premier League and are out of the Champions League. We didn’t win the League Cup. So for me it is a bad
“I can score 50 goals – but that isn’t important. The most important thing in football is to win something for my team.
“Thankfully we still have the FA Cup, and so I will give everything to win that trophy.
“Of course, I think the main target is to be in the top four, because we want to play in the Champions League.
“We don’t want to play in the Europa League. But that is what we will have to do if we don’t finish the season well.
“I am frustrated with the results, for sure. I think we have played a lot of good games this season. But I’m not happy with how I played overall.
“I was injured at the start of the season and it’s not easy to come back after that.
“Then I played really well the first two months of the season. But then when the team needed me in the game against Barcelona in the Champions League, I didn’t perform well.
“I don’t think I have played well for the last two months.
“I am frustrated. I try to look forward and I will give everything in the next few weeks, so we will see what happens.
“I do think about it a lot. When a game finishes, you try to think about the next game.
“Since I have played football, I have always thought in a positive way.
“If we have a bad result, I try to look forward and train hard, then try to win the next game. That’s my logic.”
As Hazard says, the last chance to end the campaign with a silver lining comes in the FA Cup as Chelsea prepare to take on Southampton in today’s semi-final at Wembley.
It’s the only domestic trophy missing for the Blues’ No.10 and he wants to put that right after losing last year’s Final to Arsenal.
The little Belgian has twice won the Premier League and has one League Cup, but now he wants glory in the world’s most-famous cup competition.
“This is a big stage to play on,” continues Hazard.
“I want to play well because this is the semi-final, and this is Wembley.
“We played a fantastic game in the semi-final last year against Tottenham. But we lost the Final so, in the end, it didn’t matter.
“This is my sixth year with Chelsea, and I have never won the FA Cup. This is a good year to put that right.
“We want to finish the season with a trophy. But will winning the FA Cup make it a successful season? Yes and no.
“I say that because when we started the season, we wanted to win everything.
“The truth is I don’t think we have played a good season. But it can still be good if we win the FA Cup.
“I certainly think the fans will celebrate if we win against Southampton, and if we can then win the Final.
“So has it been a great season? No. But we can win the FA Cup and the chance of finishing in the top four is still there.
“We have revenge to think about in this competition. If we want to forget about losing the Final last season, then we must reach the Final again and win.
“I want to win the FA Cup for the team, the manager and the fans.”